Bikers make the difference: Harley-Davidson owners deliver 58 tonnes of vital aid to Ukraine with no plans of stopping

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Harley-Davidson Owners’ Group (HOG) members from across the UK have successfully delivered 58 tonnes of vital aid to the people of Ukraine across a series of runs to the country’s border – with plans to return again on July 9.

The charitable convoys began with the Director of Wolverhampton’s Wolfruna HOG Chapter, 56-year-old Mark Cutler, who organised the first trip to the country on March 19.

“The war had been going on a couple of weeks and we’d heard that the Donbas region – especially in Mariupol – were short of water,” Cutler told MCN. “One of my Chapter has got a contact and we’d secured a pallet within 10 minutes.

Taking supplies to Ukraine

“That was where it started,” he continued. “People in the Chapter started looking for other donations and within a short period of time we’d generated – with the help of Sainsbury’s – enough aid to take three trucks down on the first visit.

“We drove up to the border and the sights that we saw devastated us all. People walking across with literally nothing, just the clothes that they had on their backs.”

Following the first trip, Mark and his team addressed the rest of the HOG Directors in an online meeting, calling for more Chapters to get involved. 

Swansea Black Mountain HOG chapter heads to Ukraine

“I thought we’d only do one trip, but I was motivated by what I’d seen,” Mark continued. “So, I made a plea and that was answered.”

The group returned to the border on April 23 with seven vanloads of aid, this time joined by members of the Nene Valley Chapter, Lancashire’s Red Rose Chapter, the Essex-based Lakeside Chapter, and Cardiff’s Welsh Dragon Chapter.

“We got there and realised we could do better than this and we could do it more efficiently,” Mark continued. “It was almost a given that we’d be doing it again.”

Mark returned May 21, this time taking with him three vans from the Black Mountain Chapter of Swansea, and members from Belfast. Alongside was a 40-foot artic supplied by WMB Logistics.

Long-life milk delivered to Ukraine with other supplies

“The job’s not finished here. I can’t do this every month, but it will be carrying on,” Director of the Black Mountain Chapter, Ken Britton, told MCN. “The aim is to get as many lorries there as possible.” 

On top of non-perishable foods, the most recent trip took out clothes, including over £2000 worth of t-shirts donated by Harley-Davidson Riders Club GB. Cleaning items were also donated by Welsh skin and haircare company, Dr Organic.

“We took out cereals, tinned food, toothbrushes, toothpaste, sanitary products, plasters, long-life milk – everything you can think of!” Ken continued.

Alongside the delivery of vital goods, Northern Irish members also rescued a cat that belonged to a girl from the city of Lviv – whose family are now living in Northern Ireland – arranging to take the animal from the Ukraine border.

 “We’ve kept that cat like it’s the president!” Ken added.